Has anyone done an open university degree?

I have received the application pack to start the OU maths course in January. Has anyone got any good/bad experience of the OU? What is it like to study by yourdelf?


  • RRR There is thread hidden somewhere under General regarding peeps presently studying with the OU. I got my BSC (hons) through the OU and whilst I wouldn't say it easy to study alone its not that daunting either. Living in the UK you will have the option of attending a local study group related to your class, which may or may not help! You do have to be disciplined as essays, projects etc have to be in by deadlines and life / work / families etc tend to get in the way. I coped by getting ahead of schedule and staying there. To be honest I never did do all the rading I was meant to, tended to read the sections relevant to the question I was about to answer only. It does eat up your leisure time though. Good luck, its a worthwhile experience and if it gets too stressful you can always go for a run!
  • I will have a quick search for that thread. Thanks DD. I am looking forward to doing it but just wanted to hear from others who had gone through it as well. Thankyou!
  • RRR I have just completed my first OU module not in Maths but in BSc Health Studies. It is hard work but the beauty is the flexibility. you get a lot of support via email and there is always a tutor on hand to help out if you get stuck. I'm enjoying this degree a lot more than my first one which was obtained in the conventional manner. You have to be very self disciplined so if I can do it anyone can!
  • The self discipline shouldn't be too much of an issue. I was just wondering exactly how the course was taught. From what I have now heard though it looks like there is a lot of support from tutors etc. I didn't want to end up with a HUGE dusty old text book to work my way through.
  • Mr Beanz is currently doing an OU BSc in IT.
    Mostly enjoying it and has found the tutors very supportive - do go to the tutorials, not everyone does, but they are an important part of the support.
    However as I write this he is struggling to complete an assignment that is in place of an exam for this unit (he would much prefer an exam!!).
  • I started a thread last week called Any other OUers. I'm in my 4th year of a BA Hons(open). I've enjoyed although it is hard work- when thta brown envelope comes back with a PASS whether it is 48% or 98% it is a great feeling of accomplishment.
  • Do employers look at it in a different light to a degree obtained from a normal university?
  • Depends, you can point out how organised you have to be , to hold down job, family (and run!!!) and still find the time to study.
  • Employers are usually more impressed with OU degrees as they realise that you have put a lot of your own time, effort, dedication and money into it. OU degrees are looked upon as any other degree, the fact that you have done it from home really does not matter.

    As we speak I have my head half buried in a textbook entitled 'The Human Genome'....yawn.
  • RRR, I've done some of the Math's units up to and including level 2. My experiences are all positive. If you want to know more, feel free to e-mail me.
  • Thanks for all the feedback everyone.
  • I'm nearly at the end of year 4 out of (hopefully) 5 of an OU BSc(Hons) combined Biology & Environmental Science. Certainly teaches you discipline and self-motivation, but I love it! Can't wait til I've finished, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my spare time when I'm done .... get a life again maybe!!
  • RRR

    My mum did an OU Maths degree a few years ago and loved it. I'm starting in January to do mine (have got a degree in Law but always wanted to study Maths again!)

    I'm doing MS221 and MST121 to start with.
  • Hi M,

    I am planning on doing those 2 modules together as well because I finished my A-levels a year ago and it is all pretty fresh in my mind still. I'm quite looking forward to getting back into study again. Crikey - I never thought I'd hear myself say that after all the cursing of all the exams over the years!
  • I'm currently studying for an OU degree in Business Studies. Come over to the OUers forum in general. It's full of us!! G.
  • Hello RRR,
    like most other contributors my experiences of the OU have been excellent. I did social sciences it took me six (count them SIX !) years to get my degree but I would say it was money and time well spent. Yes you do have to spend time wading through bumpf but you will gain a lot from it and combining OU with running is actually quite good. The reason why I say this is as part of your assignments, you will have difficult or involved topics to sort and think through. I used to do all my thinking whilst out on foot - it certainly takes your mind off running ! Good luck with your studies, I will be very surprised if you do not enjoy it. Ps employers do rate an OU degree because it entails a positive act of going out of your way to get that qualification and then applying yourself to that goal.
  • Prep mailing for MST121 arrived today :-)
  • in a word - no. Not living in England, taking courses through OU is prohibitively expensive
  • I am in my third year of a degree with the OU and their maths courses are all of very high quality:

    Superb learning materials, unless there are set books they provide everything you need.

    There are online chatrooms/forums for most courses where you can meet your fellow students to chat and get help

    The tutor support is second to none.

    Its cheaper than a traditional university and lets you complete the course over 8 years if you like so you can continue working.

    Go to one of their open days and you can see the materials and chat with the tutors.

    I will not lie it can be very demanding since the only person that can make you study is yourself and come deadlines on assignments you will be burning the midnight oil but it is worth it and most employers who are aware of the OU appreciate the effort and willpower required.

  • I did MST121!

    Its a great couse and good fun... make sure you have a graphical calculator such as the Texas Instruments TI-92 as it makes things a lot easier.
  • i don't *personally* own a graphical calculator.

    but thankfully venom does and i've stolen it :-)
  • How long would it take then to get a degree through the OU ?
  • how long do you want to take, and what sort of degree do you want?

    It is possible to get an honours degree in three years, but most people balance life/work/study and take closer to six years.
  • ...just had a thought....

    anyone else going to the science revision weekend in York?
  • If you want a honours degree you need 360 points (OU is modular). Most 60 pointers take 1 years study doing between 16 and 25 hours study per week. So, if like me you work full time during the week, it'll probably take close to 6 years to get the full degree. Worth it though, am really enjoying it!
  • Did mine a few years back. Good experience, good materials & fairly challenging at times.
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